Bellefontaine Examiner

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Gear malfunction forces pilot to make belly landing

CLARK COUNTY — Troopers of the Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol are investigating a non-injury plane crash that occurred Tuesday afternoon at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport located along State Route 794 in Greene Township.

Troopers report pilot Michael J. Botwin, 67, of Fairborn, was attempting to land a single-engine 1994 Buesing Lowell Lancair 320 when the craft's landing gear failed, forcing the pilot to land the plane on its belly. Mr. Botwin was not injured.

The plane, which skidded about 1,000 feet, sustained damage to the propeller and belly, according to Springfield News-Sun reports. It was towed to a nearby hanger and will be turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration for investigation.

Springfield Township Fire and EMS and Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport personnel assisted on scene.

News-Sun reports indicate Mr. Botwin, who has about 40 years of flying experience, had recently purchased the aircraft. 

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